Group One Treble for Callsign Mav (NZ)

4 October 2021

Callsign Mav (NZ) scores back-to-back Group One victories. Photo: Race Images.

From a bargain buy at Karaka to a Group One treble, Callsign Mav (NZ) (Atlante) signed off his New Zealand career on a triumphant note in Saturday’s $220,000 Group One Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings. 

Bred and sold by Saturday’s sponsors Windsor Park Stud, Callsign Mav was bought for just $3000 by Emily Holmes at the 2017 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale. He has had 19 starts for seven wins, eight placings and $566,050 in stakes for trainer and part-owner John Bary – more than 188 times his meagre purchase price.

It has been at his home-town Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival that Callsign Mav has really made his name, placing in the Group Two Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) as a three-year-old before scoring back-to-back victories in the Group One Tarzino Trophy (1400m) in 2020 and 2021.

On Saturday he added the Windsor Park Plate to his collection, stalking the front-running Tappy’s One (NZ) (Proisir) before rolling forward to take command at the top of the straight.

Fellow Karaka graduate Prise De Fer (NZ) (Savabeel) swept up alongside him with a strong turn of foot with 200 metres to run, but Callsign Mav was up to the challenge and held him out by half a length.

“I had a perfect spot outside the leader,” jockey Jonathan Riddell said. “He just purred along, and then he took over and did what he does – gawking around a bit, but then putting his head down and not letting anyone get past him.

“I was a little worried when I saw Prise De Fer coming, but knowing the horse, and knowing John and his team had said he was better than when he won the Tarzino, I was pretty confident.”

Callsign Mav’s future now lies on the other side of the Tasman, with a shot at the Group One Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley looming on his horizon in three weeks’ time. He is then likely to remain in the care of Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien.

“There’s nothing left for him to prove here, so he might as well go there and have a play with the big boys,” Bary said.

“The horse has done a good job again today. He doesn’t win by much, but he’s won again. He’s just a tough kind of horse. He’ll never come flying from the back or make it look that exciting, but at the end of the day, he has a winning habit going.

“I’m really happy for his owners, and I’m thrilled for all of my staff as well.”

Runner-up Prise De Fer was a $100,000 purchase by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis at the 2017 Premier Sale. He has now had 25 starts for seven wins, nine placings and $366,575 in stakes.

Vendor Windsor Park Stud
Purchaser Ms EL Holmes (Manawatu)
Breeding Atlante – Raadisi
Sale Lot 233, 2017 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, $3,000
Bred by Windsor Park Stud